When I began the incredible journey of middlescapes – A blog about caregiving a frail elder, life in the middle years, the search for one’s inner athlete, and baking as a path to enlightenment, my goal was simple. To have a witnessed place from which to process and make sense of the multi-varianced complexities of caregiving experiences, without losing the parts of myself that appeared to be necessity.
Overtime, a secondary intent emerged from the archives of a near thirty year career spent as a social work clinician, educator, and mentor. That hope was to begin a multi-cultural dialogue about the often taboo subjects surrounding the inevitable presence of end of life issues implicit in all subtext of human experience.
Both of these dreams have been realized and you, dear readers are the proof. You have shared your laughter, tears, outrage, stories, hearts, minds, and souls. You have nourished and provided uplift, energy, and light when it was most needed. Some of you, who I thought I knew, have offered some of the biggest surprises. Others, I have only recently met along the way, already feel like you have always been part of my world. Now as I begin to come to terms with the loss of my life as I have come to know it, there are many questions.
Is it now possible to take the total of who I am, add to it all that I have learned over these past forty-nine months through end of life caregiving, and subsequent passing of mom & Molly, to reinvent myself? Or, as the dictionary suggests in it’s definition of the word reinvent, change so much as to appear entirely new?
All of you have increased an understanding that has oiled the largely self constructed rusted prison door, which has now swung fully open of its own accord. I find myself suddenly on the other side, with no awareness of having stepped through. Am I truly free at last? And on a scale of 1 -10 how would I rate this equally delicious and terrifying idea?
Today the answer is 8.6. If you have shown that many of the beliefs governing my life were based on fear, do they now no longer apply? Is it even possible to go back to working in the world they way I always have? Or is there more? Is there a way to make a living by integrating my life?
After a life time of service to individuals, groups, teams, families, and communities, it feels for the first time – my karmic debt has been paid in full. While I have caused some harm and unintentional affliction in the lives of others, I now realize that 98% of what I have produced in the world has been both positive and good. Now, what will my new role be?
Internalized is the knowing that we all work best and are most productive during times when personal energy is at it’s peak. I push myself beyond my limits not because a clock which has not reached five, defines my worthiness or productivity but because I love what I do and am passionate about in the moment about whatever comes authentically from my heart.
I honor my intent moving towards a mature, fully engaged, active, healthy, loving, passionate, authentic, reciprocal relationship with a person I would sing to and hold until the last breath leaves their body or mine. A place of honor where while not the only priority, each of our wellbeing is of equal consideration. A partnership where we are both valued, cherished, honored, loved with full attention and unwavering commitment to God – the creator and great mystery, each other, and the greater good of humanity.
Nourished within me, is a deep desire to create, and maintain a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual life that is debt free, elegant, practical, easy to care for, and beautifully landscaped with nature’s abundance. A place where friends, family, companions, and co-creators in travel, work, and adventures create greater joy through enhancement of understanding and communication across and around our dear earth. Here all are welcome, and come or go as easily as the breeze. Not because they are obligated, but because they want to share the energy and excitement of the life that is lived here. A life where respite and resilience are created and restored with music, light, laughter, love, quiet, solitude, individuation, partnership, tears, hard work, and healing are all possible.
Even from a still grieving place where it is as yet, not possible to pay either taxes or many bills, it is a great honor to be afforded consideration towards all possibilities great and small. In the meantime, may we live each day with integrity, wisely and well.